Love and destiny, love and destiny. In China, they’re as inseparable as Chinese New Year and fireworks. So if you want to talk love in Mandarin Chinese, some of the best phrases invoke or suggest destiny. Here are some of my favorite idioms:
有缘千里来相会 (Yǒu yuán qiānlǐ lái xiānghui)
“We have the destiny to meet across a thousand miles.”
This is my favorite phrase combining love and destiny in Chinese, probably because my Chinese husband uses it all the time to refer to our marriage. It’s no wonder either — the use of distance perfectly captures how a foreigner and a Chinese, separated by thousands of miles and geography, came to love one another.
天配良缘 (Tiānpèi liángyuán)
“Destined (by heaven) to be a happy match (for marriage).”
This phrase offers a celestial way to put the destiny stamp on your love. There’s nothing stronger than saying that heaven — which is really a reference to “God” — is on the side of your relationship.
天缘巧合 (Tiānyuán qiǎohé)
“A coincidence destined by heaven.”
Evoke the influence of heaven/”God” in describing how you and your loved one met/got together with this phrase. Also used for circumstances that seem like a “coincidence,” but, from a heavenly standpoint, were really meant to happen (which just make this your go-to pickup line).
心有灵犀一点通 (Xīn yǒu língxī yìdiǎn tōng)
“Lovers’ hearts are linked together and always beat as one.”
While the idea of two hearts as one burns with romance, this actually has cooler, more melancholy roots. It comes from a poem where the author, expressing his regret at never having the chance to marry his true love, penned this phrase. Think of it as capturing that Titanic “our hearts will go on” sentiment after lovers, meant to be together, become tragically ripped apart. This phrase could inspire romance, but also might just be the thing to say when that “perfect relationship” sinks.
What are your favorite Mandarin Chinese phrases to talk about love and destiny?